Four years after his first album, "Channel Orange," singer Frank Ocean finally gave his eager fans what they'd been clamoring for: his second official release, "Blonde." The fact that the 17-track album came two days after he released the visual album "Endless" compounded the surprise.
Early Friday, March 4, Kendrick Lamar put out an album, "Untitled Unmastered," with no notice. In 2015, his album "To Pimp a Butterfly" came out a week ahead of schedule, apparently by mistake. The surprise release has become a trend in the music industry in recent years.
Rihanna's collaboration with Paul McCartney and Kanye West, "fourfiveseconds," was released January 24, 2015, with the only advance word a hint from West a few days earlier.
Beyonce's self-titled album was dropped on December 13, 2013, on iTunes -- not long after even her label had said nothing was due from the singer until 2014. Beyonce also managed to keep her 2016 video, "Formation," under wraps until it aired February 6.
David Bowie hadn't released new music in 10 years when he put out a single, "Where Are We Now," on January 8, 2013, his 66th birthday. The album "The Next Day" followed two months later. Work on the album was so secret that even Bowie's English PR firm didn't learn of it until days before Bowie went public.
Justin Timberlake gave fans a little notice before putting out "The 20/20 Experience" in March 2013 -- about a month. At least Part 2, shown here, gave fans a little more time to plan, since Timberlake said in May that the album would come out in September and stayed true to his word.
Jay Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" was teased during the NBA Finals in June 2013. The album was put out about three weeks later, on July 4 -- but, at first, only to Samsung customers. Everybody else got to buy it on July 7.
Frank Ocean's eagerly awaited "Channel Orange" was set for release July 17, 2012, but Ocean released it for download on July 10 to thwart pirates.